A KEEN footballer who had a stroke when he was still in primary school has been crowned a world champion.

Blair Glynn was part of the Scotland team that defeated Northern Ireland to lift the IPCPF World Championships in Spain last month.

The Tranent defender came off the bench in the contest and was told to help Scotland protect their lead.

He said: “When the referee blew the whistle, I thought: ‘We’ve done it.’

“It’s brilliant but it does not sink in straight away.

“I actually went back to the changing rooms and was celebrating with the boys and then thought: ‘I’m a world champion now.’

“Somebody at my work said: ‘There’s no one in Scottish footballing terms who gets to say I’m a world champion.’

“There’s not many!”

East Lothian Courier: Blair Glynn has been celebrating being crowned world champion with Scotland

Victory in Salou, where Scotland defeated South Korea and Chile, as well as Northern Ireland, marks the latest step in a remarkable journey for the 37-year-old.

He had been out playing with friends at the park between his home town’s Blawearie Road and Carlaverock Grove when his life was changed.

He said: “I had a stroke when I was 11 years old.

“I was playing at the park in Tranent just at the back of my mum and dad’s house.

“I had a vein in my neck bend over and it stopped blood getting to my brain for less than a second, which caused the stroke.

“I was 11 years old and going up to high school.

“It was hard.

“I had the stroke and I was right-handed and right-footed.

“It affected the right-hand side of my body so when I came out of hospital I was left-handed and left-footed.

“I had to learn to walk, talk, read, write, everything again.

“I didn’t think about it at the time but it was really quite difficult for my mum and dad, and the rest of the family.”

Blair, who works as a janitor at Wallyford Primary School, spent up to a month in intensive care, followed by another four weeks on a ward.

He told the Courier he thought it would be “the end of it” when it came to playing football as he spent time in a wheelchair.

But it was through chance that he found a way back to not only playing football but also on an international stage.

He was looking for tickets to watch the Scotland men’s team and spotted a link which was looking for footballers who had cerebral palsy, a brain injury or a stroke.

The father-of-two said: “Greig Taylor came down to Meadowmill and I had a trial with him.

“I think that was in the May and by July I was playing football against Denmark and England at the European Championships in 2010.”

Since then, Blair has become a key part of the national squad.

The Hearts fan admitted to the Courier he did not know how many caps he had but reckoned it was about 90.

He said: “Playing for Scotland means quite a lot.

“I’m lucky enough that my sons, Fraser and Logan, are now old enough to know what I do.

“I go away and play football and they have been able to come and watch me live. That’s amazing. It’s the best feeling ever – I don’t know what else I can say!

“Even when I was pulling on a Team GB jersey in 2012 (Paralympics), I had only been playing two years.

“To think I was doing big things like that for my country, there’s not many people that can say that.”